In their increasingly desperate effort to resuscitate Joe Biden's sagging campaign, his defenders claim…
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Image of the Day: Biden Stock Market Boom? Well...

In their increasingly desperate effort to resuscitate Joe Biden's sagging campaign, his defenders claim that stock markets vindicate "Bidenomics" (not that they call it that anymore, of course) vis-a-vis former President Donald Trump.  Well, our friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity show what happens when you adjust stock performance to account for out-of-control inflation under Biden:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="584"] "Biden Boom?" Not So Much.[/caption]

 …[more]

July 18, 2024 • 11:02 AM

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What Congress Could Do If the Supreme Court Strikes Down ObamaCare Subsidies Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 07 2015
Let ObamaCare appear before the public as the Democrats passed it, so that everyone can see it as a law that doesn’t work, offering health insurance almost no one can afford within a regulatory framework that is arbitrary and capricious.

In thinking through how to respond if the Supreme Court strikes down a controversial IRS interpretation of ObamaCare, Republicans in Congress should remember that “a fundamental flaw of the [law] was its imposition of new regulations that made health insurance more expensive for millions of Americans and that, in large part, the [law’s] health insurance subsidies are intended to mask this effect.”

So advises a new report by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski of the Heritage Foundation. In it, the conservative policy wonks make a straightforward argument: If people in 34 states cannot access federal subsidies to cover the inflated cost of coverage, Congress should eliminate the regulations that make the subsidies necessary.

The three biggest cost drivers are ObamaCare’s age rating restrictions, new benefit mandates and the minimum actuarial value requirements. All of these significantly advantage older Americans at the expense of younger Americans. For example, ObamaCare mandates that insurance premiums cannot differ between adults by more than a three to one ratio. However, “natural age variation in medical costs among adults is about five to one,” say the Heritage scholars. A review of the relevant studies shows that ObamaCare’s age rate restrictions increased by one-third premiums for young adults.

The same holds true for the other two categories. The “essential health benefits” and “preventive services” requirements in ObamaCare made premiums rise by an average of 9 percent, while the minimum actuarial value mandate – i.e., the amount a plan must pay out for covered services – increased the price of the least expensive health plan by an average of 8 percent.

Taken together, these three ObamaCare mandates add up to a government-fueled price spike in insurance premiums of up to 44 percent for younger Americans and 7 percent for pre-retirement age adults. These increases are what ObamaCare’s subsidies are trying to hide. Without the subsidies, everyone would be able to see that ObamaCare acts as a huge wealth transfer from younger to older Americans.

Exposing this reality would also highlight how many people don’t benefit from an ObamaCare subsidy.

“Removing these costly mandates would also remedy one of the biggest inequities created by [ObamaCare]: Millions of Americans who have been forced to pay more for health insurance as a result of the [law’s] mandates and regulations do not qualify for any offsetting subsidies,” write the authors. “In fact, the number of such individuals is three times greater than the number of those whose eligibility for [ObamaCare] subsidies is at issue in the King case.” (emphasis added)

King v. Burwell is the Supreme Court case challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to extend federal subsidies to residents in the 34 states that chose not to establish a local ObamaCare-compliant health insurance exchange. Part of the political calculus in getting the law passed included tying subsidies for residents to their state paying for the maintenance costs of an exchange. This allowed ObamaCare backers to claim the law would be deficit neutral since the program’s legacy costs would be shoved onto the states. When a majority of states refused the deal, the IRS rewrote the law with an administrative interpretation that made subsidies available to everyone.

The Supreme Court should rule for the challengers in King because the rule of law is more important than a president’s political legacy. If it does, Republicans in Congress should take the opportunity to remove the mandates that require the subsidies. Let ObamaCare appear before the public as the Democrats passed it, so that everyone can see it as a law that doesn’t work, offering health insurance almost no one can afford within a regulatory framework that is arbitrary and capricious.

Real health care reform doesn’t rely on gimmicks and misdirection. The sooner ObamaCare is repealed, the better off America will be.

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